For those of you who have never heard of it, it's not terribly complicated. One major aspect of the Dunning-Kruger Effect is when an unskilled worker makes a large amount of mistakes and comes to an erroneous conclusion. However, because they are unskilled and unknowledgeable, they believe that they did in fact come to the right conclusion.
This leads to an exaggerated sense of competence and know-how. It also leads the person to believe that they know much more than most others, if not everyone else. According to the study, the person in question is normally extremely incompetent, and therefore is unable and unwilling to recognize any mistakes.
This same effect can happen when those around a person constantly tell them that they are doing the right thing when they are, in fact, doing the wrong things. The person doesn't know what they're doing is wrong and those around him or her simply build up their ego. It gets to the point where the person at the center of the Dunning-Kruger Effect does not want to realize what is right and what is wrong simply because they've been locked in a different kind of reality.
You see things like this every day. But what if the Dunning-Kruger Effect wasn't simply for average folks? What if the effect happened to distort the reality of a high-ranking official? Or perhaps the President of the United States.
Certainly you could not have read the previous few paragraphs (outside of the first) and not have thought of President Barack Obama. From the beginnings of his 2008 campaign, to his nomination, and to his ultimate victory in the general election, there has been no one praised as richly as Mr. Obama. To his supporters, he would "bring back the United States," he was "the one," he was "cool," and "sexy," and "amazing."
|"Cool," "sexy," "amazing."|
More, when has the President ever been blamed for making a mistake? Unemployment two and a half years into his Presidency? President Bush's fault! The United States' credit being downgraded? It's the Tea Party's fault! These simple things, things that the President has years to fix, are deflected away from the President, helping to lock in the Dunning-Kruger Effect.
It's the same reason why, when the President goes golfing while the DOW tumbles and American soldiers die in the Middle East, Mr. Obama does not even think twice. His reality is locked in; everything he does is right, everyone else is incompetent.
In a way, you may feel sorry for our Commander in Chief's failures. But not really.